No. 1 Tucson Salpointe’s Andrew Dunn slammed his racket.
Everybody around the crowded Court 17 watching the doubles final saw it, including the two umpires. A collective groan rang out as the game-winning point in a third-set tiebreaker seemed headed seventh-seeded Phoenix Brophy Prep’s way.
Dunn and his teammate, Tyler Linscott, rushed over to the umpires pleading not to award the point for the blatant violation. Even the Brophy fans seemed at a loss for words after watching a match bitterly fought for by both sides.
Then Brophy’s David Akin and Michael Cowan did something unimaginable. They asked the umpires to continue the match.
“We didn’t want the point,” Cowan said. “We were telling the officials that we didn’t want it to end like that.”
The umpires agreed, and after a few more rallies, Brophy pulled out a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 win for the state Division I boys tennis title.
“I didn’t want to go through that match just to get handed the match,” Akin said. ”I wanted to earn it.”
They did. Brophy put itself in a hole, losing the first set, but roared back to win its second state title that day.
The first was won by No. 1 Hudson Blake, who dominated his match against Scottsdale Chaparral’s James Ponwith in singles, winning 6-4-6-4. Blake was also able to keep his composure and benefited from Ponwith failing to do so.
The state title seemed to be in Ponwith’s grasp when he took a 4-1 lead in the first set, but after a miscue he uttered an obscenity. The umpire awarded a point to Blake, which rattled Ponwith, who thought he should have received a warning instead.
“That helped tremendously,” Blake said. “I knew if I held, he would get frustrated at one point.”
Ponwith’s lack of self-control cost him five straight games to lose the set and then Blake closed out the match in the second set.